Monday, May 2, 2016

When I’m 64

“Before 70 we are merely respected, at best, and we have to behave all the time but after 70 we are respected, esteemed, admired, revered, and don’t have to behave unless we want to"… so said Mark Twain. Thanks to Lennon and McCartney, 70 has now become 64… (another reason why 64 Shots) so permission to misbehave is granted.

Hilary Clinton (68) and Bernie Sanders (74) are living the dream. Imagine if they were in the same Democratic ticket… a combined 142 years leading the Free World. Rebel all you millennials… and quickly please!!! People younger than 35 are too young to be legally elected President (an ageist prejudice in reverse) and it looks in though people between the ages of 35 and 63 are “in betweeners”, too young to misbehave, and too old to excite.

We’re left with the over 64’s… So much for Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey’s ‘My Generation'.


P.s How old is the Donald?

Image source:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Cemento

Creativity is at the Heart of Human Progress – and a fine exponent of the art is my friend – Giuliano Mazzuoli, a Florentine designer and inventor of the classic school. Check out my favourite watch, the Manometro in stainless steel, and the table clock I can’t live without. Both look like they’ve come straight out of the fastest, newest Fighter Jet cockpit. Giuliano’s CEO, Simone D’Aleo contacted me yesterday with the latest news. The Manometro Cemento. A wristwatch made of Cement – the first ever. Pure. Clean. Strong.

At 70 years old, Giuliano gives all us oldies hope. Creativity is a fire that burns forever.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Victoria Wood RIP

My best friend (and first wife – Barbara) and our daughter Nikki’s favourite comedienne, Victoria Wood, died this week.  A Lancastrian to the core, she was the spokesperson and the mirror for English social class warfare.  Everyone loved Victoria and everyone of my generation has a favourite piece of hers.  Last night over dinner with half a dozen Lancastrian friends, the stories were recited and acted out to laughter all round.  Victoria spent her last hour telling jokes to her children.  Who couldn’t help but laugh.  Classic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Just received my first 4 copies of 64 Shots – Leadership in a Crazy World – my new book. It’s my 6th published book and despite the ease and convenience of E-Books and kindles, nothing beats the touch, feel, smell of a brand new, fresh off-the-galleys, hardback book. (Nothing except maybe the thrill of actually seeing it being picked up and purchased in an old time physical book store – roll on June 21.)


Monday, April 18, 2016

First We Say Sorry

I haven’t posted in April – have been contemplating whether to continue the blog, or whether it’s time to move on.

We continue.

But first we say sorry – properly.

The 13th most famous quote is Love Story’s “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. I couldn’t disagree more. I’m more in Ryan O’Neal’s own deadpan riposte to Barbra Streisand two years later “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard”.

In life – and in business – I’m more with Bernie Taupin “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”.

A study by Roy Lewicki at Ohio State has come up with a six step check-list designed to help you and your ‘victim’ regroup and move on.
  • Acknowledge your responsibility
  • Offer amends
  • Express regret
  • Explain what went wrong
  • Declare repentance
  • Ask for forgiveness.
So, say sorry, explain what went wrong, take responsibility, commit to never making the same mistake again, make amends and ask for forgiveness.

Whilst holding eye contact, speaking caringly and looking for a physical signal to accelerate the healing.

You may have to bear a vent – then repeat the steps.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

The ‘Art’ in Artificial Intelligence

Author Brian Green once said that art makes us human. Across the board it seems that many of us agree. Some call it culture, some call it creativity, but we all seem to believe that art in some form differentiates us humans from the rest of the living world or other forms of intelligence.

A recent report from UK-based innovation org Nesta argues that countries should nurture their creative industries and concentrate on jobs in creative industries as artificial intelligence might take other jobs away. But what happens when artificial intelligence starts to create art, which we thought was a just-human domain?

Google recently held an exhibition in San Francisco which featured art created by its ‘art generator’ Deep Dream. I have to say the art pieces – they sold for quite a bit by the way - were intriguing.

Google’s Deep Dream works with neural networks. Usually mechanisms like that are used to identify photos or faces online. In this instance, instead of recognizing a face, the programme searches for patterns. These patterns – regardless of how small – are enhanced over and over again by Deep Dream. The finished art works look a lot different than the originals and the reason for that is that we don’t recognise half the patterns Deep Dream does.

The idea of computers creating art doesn’t make sense to some. It might even make you feel uneasy. Computers are logical and rational – they don’t hold any of the attributes that we ascribe to art or culture:  on mood, nuance and emotion, as noted in an article on Economic Insights.

Mark Riedl, associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology hits the nail on its head in saying that creativity might not be unique to human intelligence, but that it’s one of the ‘hallmarks’ of our intelligence.

Maybe the question isn’t, or shouldn’t, be if artificial intelligence can perform certain tasks – like creating art for instance. Instead we should think about how impressive it is if something to be made by us humans – regardless of whether that’s art or artificial intelligence. After all people like technology, but for the most part, people really love other people.

Image source: Mike Tyca